Often times inefficiencies exist in organizations due to the misalignment of resources, redundancies, and poor cross-departmental communication. A challenge that hospitals face nowadays with the increased automation levels is how to reorganize their organizational structure to reap the benefits of automation. A narrow take on automation is to think of computer systems as a replacement to papers, without any changes to the processes, job descriptions, or organizational structure. Such a view will not help your hospital tap into the full potential of automation. In today’s blog post, I will be, as always, thinking out loud about how automation can affect the Organizational Structure of a hospital.
An Organizational Structure refers to the arrangement of Human Resources and the reporting hierarchies in an organization. There are several types of structures, but in this blog post, I’ll be focusing on only two: Functional Structure & Matrix Structure. A Functional Structure is when an organization groups its employees into departments based on the similarities of the tasks they perform (E.g. Appointments & Scheduling Department). A Matrix structure on the other hand is when an organization groups its employees into teams dedicated to a specific service or product (E.g. A Cardiology Department would include Cardiologists, nurses, and their own appointments & scheduling staff). The Matrix structure is more often used for projects in IT companies, R&D and sometimes in manufacturing, but there might be some advantages to partially employing such a structure in a hospital, especially in light of automation.
Before we dive in, let us take a look at the primary functions at a hospital: Read the rest of this entry